It’s crucial to know which personal injury claims time limit applies to you when making a claim. After suffering an injury that was not your fault at work, on the roads or in a public place you may be considering seeking compensation from the person who caused it. However, you’ll need to do so within the correct time limit.
How long do you have to make a claim like that? Personal injury claims time limits vary slightly under specific circumstances but currently, under the Limitation Act 1980, you generally have three years to start.
In this article, we discuss negligence and duty of care. We look at who may have had a legal responsibility to prevent the circumstances resulting in your injury. Also, we consider how you can initiate a claim against them well within the time limits imposed.
You can find out the answer to the question ‘can I run out of time to make a claim?’ by:
- Calling our advisors right now on the number above
- Contacting us via our website
- Using our ‘live support’ option to the bottom right of this screen
Personal Injury Claims Time Limit – Select a Section
- What Is A Personal Injury Claim And What Do They Cover?
- What Is The Personal Injury Claims Time Limit?
- How Long Do Children And Those Who Lack Mental Capacity Have To Claim?
- Examples Of Personal Injury Compensation Awards
- Finding No Win No Fee Personal Injury Solicitors
A personal injury claim can be made against anyone who breached their duty of care and caused an accident that harmed you physically, emotionally or mentally. Anyone can start an honest claim with the right evidence to uphold it. This can apply to negligence that caused an accident at work, a road traffic accident (RTA) or an industrial disease.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 clearly outlines the responsibility of employers to ensure against dangerous practices at work. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 holds those in control of places accessible to the public to rigorous account over safety expectations.
Lastly, The Highway Code expects a fundamental level of competency from all road users and requires them to show a duty of care to each other to avoid accidents and injuries.
Medical evidence can help prove the severity of your injuries. Coupled with receipts and bills that demonstrate your out-of-pocket expenses caused by your injuries, a compensation figure can be calculated.
Solicitors use a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines to help them value injuries.
Organised in lists of severity, the publication ascribes a potential amount to a head-to-toe index of injuries. The idea is that a figure can be found to acknowledge pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
Your medical evidence and proof of financial losses can help a No Win No Fee lawyer calculate your damages.
Currently, there is a general three-year time limit to making a personal injury claim. After this time expires, it becomes known as ‘statute barred’ which means you have fallen out of the eligibility period to start your claim. When considering personal injury claims time limits, it’s important to note that it can generally start from either:
- The date of the accident itself
- Or the date that you became aware that negligence at least contributed to the injuries
If you are unsure about the exact date that applies to you, speak to our team for guidance. The most important thing is to get a valid claim started as quickly as you can. There are no limitation periods once the claim has been initiated which means you can concentrate on getting well.
There are different time limits for minors and those who lack the mental capacity to represent themselves.
As the victim of negligent injury, children are able to start their claim from the date of their 18th birthday. This, in effect, allows them until age 21 to make a claim.
If the need for compensation is pressing, (for example if complex medical procedures or equipment is required) it may be necessary to start a claim immediately. An eligible adult who has the child’s best interests at heart can initiate a claim as a ‘litigation friend’. This enables them to undertake all the court required duties on their behalf and start the claim immediately.
For those who lack the mental capacity to claim, the time limit is suspended. However, a litigation friend could claim on their behalf. If the person recovers the mental capacity to claim and nobody has already done so on their behalf, they would have three years to claim from the date of their recovery.
As we discussed above, general damages are award suggestions that can be calculated using the Judicial College Guidelines. Below is a compensation table that illustrates the type of injuries listed in the guidelines with severity and definitions.
Injury type severity JCG award bracket notes
head moderate brain damage (i) £140,870 to £205,580 moderate to severe intellectual deficit, speech issues, change in personality
neck (a) severe (i) In the region of
little or no movement in neck, incomplete paraplegia
back (a) severe (i) £85,470 to £151,070 spinal cord and nerve root damage resulting in severe pain and disability
elbow (a) severely disabling £36,770 to £51,460 a severely disabling injury
hand (b) serious damage to both hands £52,310 to £79,360 loss of function and permanent cosmetic disability
hip (a) severe (i) £73,580 to £122,860 extensive fractures, bladder damage and sexual dysfunction. The need for spinal fusion surgery.
knee (a) severe (i) £65,440 to £90,290 gross disruption of the joint and ligament, increased risk of osteoarthritis
foot (d) severe £39,390 to £65,710 fractures affecting both feet with degloving, scarring and increased risk of health problems
psychiatric damages (a) severe £51,460 to £108,620 marked problems coping with daily life with a poor prognosis
It’s important to note that these amounts do not represent guarantees. The aim is to guide legal professionals in any compensation decision they may reach.
Compensation is unique to each case so the figures above might not entirely reflect what you could claim. Therefore, if you’d like our advisors to accurately value your claim for free, why not get in touch?
A No Win No Fee agreement is a way in which a personal injury solicitor can help you with the claims process. By taking up your claim in this way, you can access expert legal representation at no upfront cost to you to use the services of the lawyer.
Get instant help with your personal injury claims time limit
At No Win No Fee Solicitors, we aim to streamline your search for legal representation like this. When you call us on the number at the top of the page, we can quickly assess the eligibility of your claim and potentially connect you with the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel.
Your personal injury compensation calculation could be much more than you originally thought when an expert looks at it. Get in touch today to see if you can start your claim well within the personal injury claims time limit.
To sum up, below are further information links. They can provide more help, but please feel free to get in touch if you have any queries or questions.
- Further reading on the subject of paying for your own social care after an injury
- More statistical information about accidents in the workplace
- The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) give safety advice to reduce accidental injuries
We have some other guides that you may find useful: